Australia : Nearly 50 per cent of Far North apprentices are quitting to chase better paid jobs or because they’re not up to the task. Advance Cairns chief executive Kevin Byrne said the figures were a shock.
The National Centre For Vocational Education Research also showed a third of those who dropped out did so within the first 12 months.
“I would have thought people would understand how difficult it was to get a job these days and would grasp these opportunities with two hands. “Sadly it’s a sign of the times. The expectations outstrip the reality,” Mr Byrne said.
“I think we need to understand the road through an apprenticeship to employment is a very honourable way to go. The rewards at the end of the journey are fantastic. People have to stick with it and show some resolve.”
Mr Byrne said there was an expectation people did not “have to go out and fight hard for our rewards”. “There is a limit as to what the taxpayer can fund in this country. What else is the taxpayer expected to do other than complete your exam or complete your apprenticeship?” he said. “I think the realities of economics will sort this out and the sooner governments demand a quid pro quo for their investment, the better everyone will be.”
Skill 360 Australia interim chief executive Michael Phillips said of the apprentices not making it through their first year about a quarter found another job that better fit their career aspirations or paid more than the apprenticeship.
“Others just don’t like what they’re doing or have been forced into it, for example, possibly dad was a boiler maker so his son has to be one too,” he said.
“Sometimes they just find the work physically demanding. It’s tough for young people to get established in their chosen career.”
Community Apprenticeships Australia national recruitment manager Tristan Fielden said enabling young people to combine training, education and on-the-job experience helped build a good foundation for sustainable employment.
“Almost 14 per cent of our current apprentices and trainees either began their training while completing school or have not completed year twelve. The education prerequisites remain minimal so they remain an accessible option for many young people,” he said.
Training Connections Australia works with local businesses and assists 150 young people in Cairns each year to complete the shift from school to employment or training.
National training manager Amanda Sophios said “enabling young people to find something they’re passionate about and building their confidence to contribute to a workplace are good foundations for ongoing work”.
“Entering the final years of high school can be daunting for some kids, especially if they don’t excel academically or are unsure about their longer-term career path. It’s important for them to understand there are a range of training options available including basic employability skills, on-the-job training and technical courses,” she said.
“Participation is key, so every job placement or learning opportunity they pursue is building their capability to appeal to future employers. The latest generation of school leavers tend to be quite innovative and willing to explore entrepreneurship”, she added.
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